Latest Hugo Chavez News

  • Venezuelan row with Colombia an election ploy: analysts
    Venezuelan row with Colombia an election ploy: analysts 12 hours ago

    The escalating row over Venezuela's mass deportations of Colombians is less about neighborly strains than the economic crisis, crippling shortages and dismal popularity ratings facing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, analysts said Friday. More »

  • Cancer, transplant patients protest over Venezuela's medicine shortages
    Cancer, transplant patients protest over Venezuela's medicine shortages Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelans with chronic medical conditions such as breast cancer, hemophilia and transplants protested in Caracas on Thursday, the latest demonstration to demand urgent medicines in a country beset with shortages. Around 13,000 people with chronic issues are at risk of severe harm if they do not find chemotherapy or medicines, including those that prevent organ transplants being rejected, according to organizer CodeVida, a non-profit umbrella health group. A combination of currency controls, slumping domestic production and cross-border smuggling have caused acute shortages of medical supplies in socialist-led Venezuela. More »

  • Colombia and Venezuela recall ambassadors amid border crisis
    Colombia and Venezuela recall ambassadors amid border crisis Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    By Julia Symmes Cobb BOGOTA (Reuters) - Venezuela and Colombia each recalled their ambassadors to the other country on Thursday, amid a diplomatic crisis sparked when socialist-run Venezuela closed two border crossings and deported over a thousand Colombians. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro shut the crossings last week after a shootout between smugglers and troops wounded three soldiers. "I have favored dialogue and diplomacy and I will keep doing so, but I cannot allow Venezuela to treat Colombia and Colombians this way," the center-right Santos said in Bogota. More »

  • Colombia recalls ambassador to Venezuela amid border crisis
    Colombia recalls ambassador to Venezuela amid border crisis Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    By Julia Symmes Cobb BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday recalled the country's ambassador to Venezuela after the socialist-run country closed two border crossings and deported over a thousand Colombians. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro shut the crossings last week after a shootout between smugglers and troops wounded three soldiers. "I have favoured dialogue and I will keep doing so, but I cannot allow Venezuela to treat Colombia and Colombians this way," the conservative Santos said in Bogota. More »

  • Colombia says Venezuela deportations caused border 'tragedy'
    Colombia says Venezuela deportations caused border 'tragedy' Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    Colombia complained Monday that Venezuela's mass deportation of its citizens during a crackdown on smuggling has created a "humanitarian tragedy" on part of their border. More »

  • Colombia urges Venezuela to reopen border
    Colombia urges Venezuela to reopen border Sat, Aug 22, 2015

    Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos urged Venezuela on Saturday to reconsider its decision to close its border in response to an attack by unidentified assailants on a military patrol. More »

  • Venezuela gets new oil minister
    Venezuela gets new oil minister Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    Eulogio del Pino, pictured on September 6, 2012, will take over as minister of oil and mining More »

  • Away from Caracas, shortages even worse in Venezuela
    Away from Caracas, shortages even worse in Venezuela Tue, Aug 18, 2015

    People queue outside a supermarket in Valencia, 180 km west of Caracas, on August 11, 2015 More »

  • Popularity of Venezuela's Maduro inches down to 24.3 percent
    Popularity of Venezuela's Maduro inches down to 24.3 percent Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's popularity fell to 24.3 percent in July, hurt by voracious inflation and shortages of goods ranging from spare parts to shampoo, according to respected local pollster Datanalisis. Maduro, who narrowly won an election to replace late leader Hugo Chavez in 2013, has avoided the structural reforms economists say are crucial to keep conditions from worsening. Several Latin America presidents, including Brazil's Dilma Rousseff and Peru's Ollanta Humala, have even lower approval ratings. More »

  • Venezuela releases former general-turned-Chavez critic: lawyer
    Venezuela releases former general-turned-Chavez critic: lawyer Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    A former Venezuelan defense minister and ally-turned-critic of the late president Hugo Chavez has been released on parole after spending more than six years in prison on corruption charges, his lawyer said Thursday. More »

  • Venezuela ex-general Baduel, former Chavez ally, granted parole
    Venezuela ex-general Baduel, former Chavez ally, granted parole Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    A Venezuelan military court granted parole to former general Raul Baduel, who was key in the rescue of Hugo Chavez from a coup in 2002 but later broke ranks with the late leader's socialist government, his lawyer said. Baduel began campaigning against Chavez's attempts to scrap term limits in 2007, and was arrested on corruption charges two years later. International pressure has been growing on Maduro to free jailed politicians whom the opposition says are being punished for protesting corruption, authoritarian behaviour and a deep economic crisis. More »

  • Venezuela's first transgender candidate to run for Congress
    Venezuela's first transgender candidate to run for Congress Sat, Aug 8, 2015

    By Corina Pons CARACAS (Reuters) - The first transgender politician to run for popular election in Venezuela on Friday registered as candidate for Congress as part of the opposition bloc, promising to advance gay rights in the traditionally macho South American society. Lawyer and gay rights activist Tamara Adrian had to register under her given name Thomas Adrian despite a 2002 sex change, because Venezuelan law does not allow anyone born male to legally become female or take a woman's name. "We're going to fight so that everyone gets respect," said Adrian, amid a tussle of candidates and cheering supporters at the gates of an elections authority office in Caracas. More »

  • Looting and violence on the rise in Venezuela supermarkets
    Looting and violence on the rise in Venezuela supermarkets Thu, Aug 6, 2015

    By Diego Oré CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan supermarkets are increasingly being targeted by looters as swollen lines and prolonged food shortages spark frustration in the OPEC nation struggling with an economic crisis. The economic crisis has hit President Nicolas Maduro's approval ratings and raised tension levels in the country. Fifty-six incidents of looting and 76 looting attempts took place in the first half of 2015, according local NGO Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, which based the figures on media reports and testimony of observers around the country. More »

  • Headhunters woo low-cost Venezuela talent amid crisis
    Headhunters woo low-cost Venezuela talent amid crisis Wed, Aug 5, 2015

    By Girish Gupta CARACAS (Reuters) - Headhunters across Latin America are tapping Venezuela for low-cost professionals as a deepening economic crisis has left many skilled workers earning less money than taxi drivers and waiters. Highly-trained Venezuelans are seeking to escape a decaying socialist economy in which they often have to work second jobs and spend hours in line to buy basic goods such as milk or diapers. The crisis has created a fertile market for global search firms including Korn/Ferry , Caldwell Partners and Stanton Chase as well as smaller regional companies. More »

  • Venezuela opposition figure Machado barred from vote
    Venezuela opposition figure Machado barred from vote Mon, Aug 3, 2015

    Venezuelan opposition politician Maria Corina Machado said Monday officials refused to register her as a candidate for the country's December legislative elections after she was controversially banned from public office. More »

  • Venezuela troops occupy Polar food distribution warehouses
    Venezuela troops occupy Polar food distribution warehouses Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    By Girish Gupta CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan troops occupied a Caracas warehouse complex used by local food giant Empresas Polar and Nestle to distribute food and beverages, workers and company officials said on Thursday. The move follows months of accusations by President Nicolas Maduro that Polar, the country's largest private employer, is working to sabotage the economy. Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez expropriated several warehouses from Polar, in some cases arguing that the space should be used to build houses for the poor. More »

  • Colombia-Venezuela border closed after deadly clash
    Colombia-Venezuela border closed after deadly clash Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    A man was shot and killed during clashes between the Venezuelan national guard and merchants moving goods into Colombia, prompting authorities to shutter the main border crossing between the two countries. More »

  • Venezuela: Shortages of doctors, medicines and basics put mothers' and babies' …
    Venezuela: Shortages of doctors, medicines and basics put mothers' and babies' … Fri, Jul 24, 2015

    Currency controls, rationing and shortages are a fact of daily life for many Venezuelans – with those expecting children hit especially hard. Rather than resting at home, awaiting the birth of their babies, pregnant women in Venezuela are forced to queue for hours at several pharmacies to stock up on baby essentials such as nappies and medicines. Expectant mothers wake up at the crack of dawn to join long supermarket queues, buying nappies in bulk. More »

  • Mother of all battles in scarcity-hit Venezuela - having a baby
    Mother of all battles in scarcity-hit Venezuela - having a baby Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer MARACAIBO, Venezuela (Reuters) - Her belly bulging, Hilda Angarita hauls herself to five different drug stores in the sweltering Venezuelan city of Maracaibo until she finally finds post-cesarean patches. Over the previous nine months, Angarita's life has been consumed with searching for vitamins, calcium, diapers and medicines amid widespread shortages in recession-hit Venezuela. The shortages are compounded in places like Maracaibo, a western city near Colombia. More »

  • Venezuela detains two ex-military officers over drugs Wed, Jul 22, 2015

    Venezuela said on Tuesday it had arrested two former military officers on drug charges including one man linked by the government to Mexico's Sinaloa cartel and wanted by the United States. Foreign and local critics allege Venezuela's socialist government, under current President Nicolas Maduro and former leader Hugo Chavez, has been abetting cocaine shipments from neighbouring Colombia to the United States and Europe. More »

  • Venezuela bans another opposition politician from holding office
    Venezuela bans another opposition politician from holding office Sat, Jul 18, 2015

    CARACAS (Reuters) - - Former Venezuelan state Governor Pablo Perez said on Saturday he had been barred from holding public office for 10 years, the third ban on an opposition politician in the last week. The comptroller's office this week also disqualified former legislator Maria Corina Machado and ex-mayor Vicencio Scarano, both candidates in Dec. 6 parliamentary elections, from holding office. Critics says President Nicolas Maduro is seeking to clamp down on opposition leaders and discourage voters ahead of an election polls forecast his party is likely to lose. More »

  • Venezuela bans another politician from running for parliament Fri, Jul 17, 2015

    By Diego Ore CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela has banned a second opposition member, former mayor Vicencio Scarano, from holding public office for a year, meaning he will not be able to run in December's parliamentary election. The measure against Scarano, jailed last year for failing to clear street barricades in his San Diego town during protests against President Nicolas Maduro, followed a similar move this week against another opposition leader, Maria Corina Machado. More »

  • Venezuela's Machado says will defy ban and run for parliament
    Venezuela's Machado says will defy ban and run for parliament Wed, Jul 15, 2015

    By Deisy Buitrago CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan hardline opposition leader Maria Corina Machado on Wednesday vowed she would run for parliament despite a one-year ban on her holding public office, which she said was a ploy by the government to avoid defeat in December's vote. The comptroller's office has barred Machado, a candidate in the central Miranda state who is a high-profile adversary of the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, on grounds she failed to disclose certain social benefits in her wealth declaration. Scoffing at the accusations, Machado accused Maduro and a "complicit" comptroller of sidelining her ahead of the Dec. 6 vote, which polls show the ruling socialists are poised to lose. More »

  • Venezuela's Maduro says U.S. diplomatic channel 'working well'
    Venezuela's Maduro says U.S. diplomatic channel 'working well' Tue, Jul 7, 2015

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that a recently created diplomatic back-channel with the United States is "working very well" at improving communication between the two countries following more than a decade of tensions. Maduro said U.S. President Barack Obama helped pave the way for improved communication in April, after he distanced himself from an executive order that described the South American nation as a threat to the security of the United States. "The president of the United States rejected the decree that he himself signed, and allowed for diplomatic channels to seek respect and understanding," Maduro said during a speech to parliament. More »

  • Venezuela's struggling socialists hold primaries for parliamentary vote
    Venezuela's struggling socialists hold primaries for parliamentary vote Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's ruling socialists held primaries on Sunday ahead of December's parliamentary election they are forecast to lose due to a biting recession and discontent with the late Hugo Chavez's uncharismatic successor. You don't feel that emotion anymore," said a teacher at a state-run school in a low-income part of Caracas, who is disappointed with President Nicolas Maduro, the former bus driver and union leader she helped elect in 2013. The growing ranks of disillusioned ruling party supporters means the opposition has its strongest shot in over a decade at recouping the National Assembly in the Dec. 6 vote. More »

  • Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader ends hunger strike
    Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader ends hunger strike Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez said Tuesday he has ended a month-long hunger strike, a day after the government set a date for legislative elections. More »

  • Insight - Chinese firms do brisk business in Venezuela despite idle factori …
    Insight - Chinese firms do brisk business in Venezuela despite idle factori … Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    By Brian Ellsworth and Corina Pons SAN FRANCISCO DE YARE, Venezuela (Reuters) - Five years after Chinese home appliance maker Haier agreed to build a $912 million (578 million pounds) factory in Venezuela, its washing machines and refrigerators are almost the only ones available in the country's department stores. The cost of leaving Haier's facility idle is primarily borne by Venezuela's socialist government, because its construction was bankrolled with $800 million borrowed from China. While most foreign firms are being battered by Venezuela's currency controls and product shortages, Chinese companies like Haier are doing brisk business thanks to cooperation deals that give them privileged access to the OPEC nation's economy but leave business risks in the government's hands. More »

  • Opposition hopeful as Venezuela sets legislative vote
    Opposition hopeful as Venezuela sets legislative vote Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    Venezuela will hold legislative elections December 6, officials said Monday, setting a date after weeks of pressure from opposition groups hoping to deal President Nicolas Maduro's socialist party a crippling defeat. More »

  • Venezuela to hold parliamentary election on December 6
    Venezuela to hold parliamentary election on December 6 Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    By Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's parliamentary election will be held on Dec. 6, authorities announced on Monday, ending lengthy speculation over the date for a vote that surveys showed was likely to punish the ruling socialists. President Nicolas Maduro's ruling Socialist Party currently enjoys a majority in the 167-seat National Assembly, but an economic crisis including widespread shortages and roaring inflation has hurt the government's popularity. Pressure had been mounting on the National Electoral Council (CNE), with two jailed politicians and dozens of students staging partial hunger strikes to demand a date. More »

  • Colombia protests Venezuela fixing of maritime border
    Colombia protests Venezuela fixing of maritime border Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    Colombia's foreign ministry has sent a letter of protest to neighbouring Venezuela after the government of President Nicolas Maduro decreed maritime borders in a disputed area of the Atlantic Ocean, a ministry source said on Saturday. Venezuela's Decree 1787, approved May 26 creates Operating Zones of Integral Maritime and Insular Defense, or Zodimain, and is meant to bolster Venezuela's national defence system. "In the past few hours Colombia presented a letter of protest to the Venezuelan government because of the fixing of maritime borders to strengthen their offensive system," a spokesman from the foreign ministry told Reuters. More »

  • Venezuela legislators slam Brazil counterparts' prison visit
    Venezuela legislators slam Brazil counterparts' prison visit Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party legislators called a trip by Brazilian senators to visit jailed opponents of President Nicolas Maduro "abusive" and "meddling" on Friday. The Brazilian senators had hoped to visit detained politicians including hardline leader Leopoldo Lopez, on a partial hunger strike in a military prison, and Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma, who is under house arrest. Members of Maduro's Socialist Party said the half-dozen Brazilians were part of a right-wing international conspiracy. More »

  • Venezuela's Maduro calls Donald Trump a 'thief'
    Venezuela's Maduro calls Donald Trump a 'thief' Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro lashed out Thursday at US billionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump for saying Mexican immigrants were bringing crime and drugs to the United States. More »

  • Swiss say stray Venezuela golf balls violate Vienna Convention
    Swiss say stray Venezuela golf balls violate Vienna Convention Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    By Girish Gupta CARACAS (Reuters) - A dispute has been tee'd off between Switzerland's ambassador to Venezuela and a neighboring elite golf club, after a banner appeared at the diplomat's residence warning that golf balls injuring or killing anyone inside would violate the Vienna Convention. The large placard, located on the residence's fence near the third of the Caracas Country Club's 18 holes, begins by explaining that the residence is considered Swiss territory. "Launching balls into this residence is a danger to whoever is within Swiss territory and a violation of the Vienna Convention if a golf ball injures or kills anyone on Swiss soil." Ambassador Sabine Ulmann told Reuters she had nothing to say on the matter. More »

  • U.S., Venezuelan officials meet in Haiti, continue quiet diplomacy
    U.S., Venezuelan officials meet in Haiti, continue quiet diplomacy Sun, Jun 14, 2015

    By Girish Gupta CARACAS (Reuters) - A U.S. envoy has met Venezuela's second most powerful official in Haiti in a further sign of rapprochement between the ideological foes, according to Venezuelan state media. Thomas Shannon, counsellor to Secretary of State John Kerry, has emerged in recent months as a go-between for Caracas and Washington, visiting Venezuela a couple of times for low-profile meetings with President Nicolas Maduro. In the worst flare-up since Maduro came to power, Venezuela earlier this year accused Washington of plotting a coup, ordered it to reduce its embassy staff and imposed a visa requirement on U.S. visitors. More »

  • Radicalism spells chaos for Venezuela, says 'Chavismo' defector
    Radicalism spells chaos for Venezuela, says 'Chavismo' defector Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    By Andrew Cawthorne and Diego Ore BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela (Reuters) - When state governor Henri Falcon abandoned Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party in 2010 and later joined the opposition, he was pilloried as a "traitor" by former pal and then president Hugo Chavez. Now, it is opposition hardliners who insult him with that same word as Falcon promotes dialogue with Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro, in a bid to ease political hatreds and an economic crisis in the South American OPEC nation. The alternative is chaos," Falcon told Reuters on Thursday after addressing a student rally in Barquisimeto, capital of Lara state that he governs. More »